Monday, 24 July 2006 12:30 AM
By George Kouroumalis
A magnificent second half display by the traveling Altona Magic side has seen them victorious 1-0 this afternoon, becoming the first team of to take maximum points away from Bob Jane Stadium this season.
Over 1500 braved the horrible wet and windy conditions at Lakeside in what had promised to have be one of the toughest contests of the season .
The home fans were also treated to a pleasant surprise pre match with inspirational defender Con Blatsis returning to the lineup after a lengthy layoff after a string of nasty injuries.
The game started off in a manner dictated by the conditions, with both teams feeling each other out early.
As South began to control play, they created the first genuine chance of the contest in the fourteenth minute, when a sublime ball by veteran midfielder Tansel Baser, sent Fernando De Moraes through on goal, only for his weak shot to be saved by Bojo Jevdjevic.
Minutes later, youngster Andrew Bourakis looked to have broken the deadlock with a long range drive from 30 yards, only for the ball to veer away from the right hand upright at the last second, missing the target by a matter of inches.
By the 25th minute, South had assumed control of the game and looked likely to net the opener, however they were once again denied, when an Andreas Oliviera run ended with the dynamic striker launching his drive into the side netting.
As the South fans began to vent their frustration, Oliviera once again had a stike from range in the 33rd minute, only for his shot to be tipped from the top right hand corner acrobatically by Jevdjevic, who had made his second world class save of the evening.
It didn’t look like it was going to happen for South Melbourne and fortunately for the Altona faithful their side was able to hold onto the clean sheet until the half time break.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was a scrappy and sloppy affair with both sides struggling to forumulate any decent chances to worry either of the experienced keepers.
The match sprang to life in the 62nd minute when a looping ball from Tomi Razov caused mayhem amongst the South defence, with the ball falling to the waiting Igor Arsovski, who pounced and curled a fantasic first time shot around a full stretch Dean Anastasiadis to give his side the lead.
Buoyed by the goal, Altona should have claimed a second in the 72nd minute after another Razov ball was played was directed straight into the crossbar to the despair of the small but vocal traveling fans.
The near miss was repeated only minutes later when yet another Razov ball was played into the path of goalscorer Arsovski, who lobbed his effort over keeper Dean Anastasiadis and once again against the crossbar.
With South on the backfoot, they nearly snatched an equaliser in the 85th minute, when a sublime solo run by Scott MacNicol saw him cut back into the 6 yard box, only for a desperate clearance to be made, denying South once again.
With Altona repelling any foray forward that South made, the whistle blew giving the Magic a well deserved three points which lifts them into outright second position.
South Melbourne now face a tricky fixture next week away to Richmond on Friday Night.